We can only be held accountable for what we know, but refusing to know is no excuse. And knowing without acting is inexcusable.
I’ve had food intolerances my whole life. If I had tested for them in my teen years, I would have saved myself loads of adolescent angst and embarrassment from having a “pizza face”—a face chocked full of acne that continued into my adult years until I uncovered their cause. If I had been tested for them as a child, I would have saved myself a lifetime of night terrors and horrendous sleep that destroyed my adrenals and affected my hormones. And then there are the headaches, mood swings, thyroid issues and more. I could go on and on about the load of symptoms I suffered from numerous food intolerances throughout my life, but here’s the thing… I didn’t know I had food intolerances and I couldn’t know. MDs don’t test for food intolerances. I’m not to blame for the extreme levels of inflammation in my body that manifested as different food intolerances growing up and into my adult years. How could I know? I couldn’t.
I’m absolved from unchecked food intolerances, but not from my unhealthy CHOICES—that period of my life in which I rarely slept and instead popped caffeine pills like an addict on crack and drank Coca Cola by the bucket loads, while living on fast or no food. Unfortunately, this isn’t unusual, especially for law students, medical students, grad students and competitive collegiate policy debaters. It seems that the more brain cells we need, the less we use. Beyond stupid, was my staying up all night in nutrition school, researching and writing about adrenal fatigue while I promoted it in my own body.
I have to wonder, what would my life be like now if I had taken care of myself then? If I had eaten correctly (within my means of knowledge of what that was), drank more water and slept; who would I be now and how would my body and brain be different at 70? I’ll never know the extent of the long-term damage I caused from my poor CHOICES.
We all know better about many health-related things, yet we do them anyway. Why? Comfort. Habit. Self-hatred or what? Do you think your body will appreciate your martyrdom when you are 80? Or even 50?
I can tell my clients how to improve their lifestyles, how to change their diets to be healthier, what their bodies are missing and what metabolic issues are showing up for their own bodies, but it is up to them to act on that information. Knowing you have a blood sugar issue while choosing to live the same lifestyle of refined carbohydrates, skipped meals and sugary foods may create short-term bliss but in the long-term will destroy your body, your energy and your future. Giving in to food cravings your body has an intolerance to may not seem like a big deal at the time, but the result of the accompanying inflammation can be devastating and wreak long-term havoc on your tissues.
We can all improve our health. We can all have more energy, better sleep, more vitality and stronger bodies but we have to CHOOSE that. We have to get past the metabolic causes of our poor food cravings and then have the initiative and the hope to care about our bodies. It’s easy, especially for women, to care about everyone around us, except for ourselves. But to not care is doing yourself and everyone you care about a disservice. You can’t fully create the change you want to in the world and be there for your family and friends, if you don’t take care of your own health first. Choose health and choose it now, because what you choose now affects your future self and everyone and thing you care about.